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In 2019 the InterLaw Diversity Forum signed an MOU with the American Bar Association (“ABA”) to adapt the ABA’s US Model Diversity Survey ("ABA MDS") for use in the United Kingdom. The ABA MDS is now in its seventh year with over 150 Client Signatories and nearly 500 Law Firm Participants in the United States. In 2020 we solidified this arrangement with the ABA by signing a further “Collaboration Agreement”. Our UK adaptation is entitled the InterLaw Diversity Forum UK Model Diversity Survey ("UK MDS").

The UK Model Diversity Survey (“UK MDS”) is a supplier diversity questionnaire which corporate and financial institutions (“Signatories”) use to monitor their panel firms/legal service suppliers on diversity, inclusion, and culture. The purpose of the survey is to serve as the standard for law firms’ reporting of their diversity metrics. The benefits the survey has are data uniformity, time efficiency, and trending year over year in aggregate and for individual firms.

UK MDS Signatories:

  1. Accenture*

  2. Barclays Europe*

  3. BNP Paribas*

  4. Boston Consulting Group (BCG)*

  5. BT*

  6. Bupa*

  7. Cable & Wireless Communications*

  8. Cambridge University Press & Assessment*

  9. CBRE*

  10. Credit Karma*

  11. eBay*

  12. EE*

  13. Elekta

  14. Evercore*

  15. [Not public]*

  16. [Not public]*

  17. GLP*

  18. Google*

  19. HSBC*

  20. Hult International Business School*

  21. Jefferies*

  22. Kantar*

  23. Kingfisher

  24. Lululemon

  25. Mondelēz International*

  26. Morgan Stanley*

  27. [Not public]

  28. Natixis*

  29. NatWest*

  30. NBCUniversal*

  31. Peel Hunt*

  32. Peloton*

  33. PGIM*

  34. Rokos Capital*

  35. Santander*

  36. Schroders Personal Wealth*

  37. [Not public]*

  38. [Not public]*

  39. [Not public]*

  40. Southern Water*

  41. Springer Nature*

  42. Uber*

  43. UBS*

  44. Visa Europe*

    *UK MDS Foundation Signatory

UK MDS Law Firm Participants

  1. Addleshaw Goddard

  2. Ashurst*

  3. Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP)*

  4. Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft*

  5. Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton*

  6. CMS UK*

  7. Cooley*

  8. Covington & Burling*

  9. DLA Piper

  10. [Not public]

  11. Eversheds Sutherland

  12. Fieldfisher*

  13. Fladgate*

  14. [Not public]

  15. GQ | Littler*

  16. Greenberg Traurig*

  17. Harbottle & Lewis*

  18. Herbert Smith Freehills*

  19. Hogan Lovells*

  20. Irwin Mitchell Solicitors*

  21. Linklaters*

  22. Osborne Clarke*

  23. [Not public]*

  24. Penningtons Manches Cooper*

  25. Reed Smith*

  26. Shoosmiths*

  27. Sidley Austin*

  28. Simmons & Simmons*

  29. Squire Patton Boggs*

  30. Sullivan & Cromwell*

  31. [Not public]

  32. Towerhouse*

  33. Walker Morris*

  34. White & Case*

    *UK MDS Foundation Law Firm Participant


Now starting our third data collection cycle, the UK MDS is based on the 2021 version of the America Bar Association's Model Diversity Survey ("ABA MDS") in the United States. We will continue our collaboration with the ABA and future iterations of both surveys will continue to mirror each other as much as possible and will cross-pollinate as we share improvements back and forth. We work with the  same service provider to run the online system, the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), a not-for-profit testing organisation in the US, whose generous support has made the system development possible.


The UK MDS and the ABA MDS run as two parallel but totally separate and independent systems but have nearly identical user interfaces and functionality. These two systems can easily be used in conjunction with each other to give you the full picture of the compositions and cultures of your US and UK firms.


As part of our adaptation for the UK market, we consulted with the SRA to ensure all our diversity categories fully align with what the SRA required law firms to collect starting in Summer 2021.


We received GDPR advice for the UK MDS from Reed Smith with support from Paul Hastings and have produced a Data Protection Impact Assessment ("DPIA”).


Our data experts, as well as data experts from several of the UK MDS Signatories, have determined that there are no GDPR issues with the UK MDS.


As part of the development of the UK MDS, we assembled a working group of general counsel, senior in-house lawyers, D&I experts, and law firm representatives to consult on the project. We consulted and coordinated with the SRA to ensure our diversity and social mobility categories are the same as those the SRA required law firms to collect on in Summer 2021 and again in 2023. We are working with the same supplier as the ABA, the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC), who developed the infrastructure and systems needed to launch the UK version.

About the Dashboards

The UK MDS can help clients shape their decisions around allocation of legal work to law firms/legal suppliers by creating greater transparency around diversity, inclusion, and culture in law firms.

Replacing the reams of inaccessible tabular data that have to now sit only with Procurement, GCs and their legal teams can themselves now easily drill down into the data in the UK MDS Dashboards which display firm data from headcount, to hiring, promotion, attrition, firm leadership, and top and bottom earners.

UK MDS Signatories can make make like-for-like comparisons between their panel law firms/legal service providers, and can compare data over time to measure their panel firms’ progress, 

The UK Model Diversity Survey can assist law firms in providing uniform, thorough, and accurate information to their corporate and financial institution clients. Further, it will streamline D&I data collection for law firms by allowing firms to provide a single, uniform set of data to multiple clients. Firms are currently asked for a different set of diversity data, cut a different way, from every client who collects it.  The more firm clients who use the UK MDS, the greater the cost and time savings for the firm.


Current Status of the Project:


The UK MDS is now live and fully operational. We have accelerated data collection cycles as below to bring us current with the calendar year:

The submission period for Law Firm Participants to enter their 2021 data has now closed. 

The submission period for the 2022 data collection cycle has now closed.


The 2023 data collection cycle will open early Summer 2024. This will bring us current with the calendar year and the cycle will repeat annually on this schedule.

We welcome new Signatories to join at anytime.


If your organanisation would like to participate – either as a Signatory or a Law Firm Participant – please contact:

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